Sheriff David Clarke, of Fox News contributor fame, apparently took issue with some comments Joe Biden made about the current POTUS. In defense of President Trump, David Clarke tweeted at Biden on Wednesday with an innuendo involving locker rooms and what supposedly goes on in them.
The tweet followed earlier remarks that Biden made during a Tuesday speech at the University of Miami. According to Biden, he was asked if he wanted to debate Trump shortly after the release of an Access Hollywood tape on which Trump was recorded saying he could "grab" women "by the pussy." Biden responded that if he and Trump were in high school, Biden would "beat the hell out of him."
Biden continued, riffing on the common excuse offered for Trump's comments — chalking them up to "locker room talk." He observed, "I've been in a lot of locker rooms my whole life. ... Any guy that talked that way was usually the fattest, ugliest S.O.B. in the room."
Quoting Biden's words about the many locker rooms he's been in over his life, Clarke wrote on Twitter:
Please tell us why and what you were doing hanging around all those locker rooms, Joe? Taking in the sights? Did the soap keep falling out of your hands Joe?
Clarke's insinuation prompted a pretty immediate Twitter response. CNN reporter Andrew Kaczynski echoed a common theme, tweeting, "What exactly does David Clarke think happens in locker rooms?" Extreme athlete Dane Rauschenberg wrote it was "interesting" that Clarke assumes being in a locker room "immediately involves lots of gay sex." Rauschenberg then wrote, "I guess that ridiculous beard you sport is also metaphorical, huh?"
Clarke's been in trouble with Twitter before. In January, he was suspended from the site for breaking their terms of service by posting tweets that encouraged violence against the media. Referring to the "LYING LIB MEDIA," Clarke tweeted that the "ANTIDOTE" would be to "Punch them in the nose & MAKE THEM TASTE THEIR OWN BLOOD.” Twitter restricted Clarke's use of his account to direct messages between himself and followers until he deleted the tweet.
The former sheriff has been a regular source of inflammatory statements, as Sophia A. Nelson outlines at NBC News. In 2015, Clarke linked Black Lives Matter with ISIS, tweeting that "before long" the two groups would work together to destroy "our legal constituted republic."
No stranger to straight talk, the comments from Biden that sparked Clarke's tweet aren't exactly an aberration for the former vice president. In 2014, well before Donald Trump entered the political arena, Biden related a story from his youth at an event honoring him for combating violence against women.
As Biden tells it, when they were both kids, his sister once got kicked off her bicycle by a boy in the neighborhood. When young Biden heard the story, he rode his own bike into town, confronted the offender, and "smashed his head next to the counter." (The boy happened to be in a local doughnut shop when Biden arrived.) Biden told the crowd he "wouldn't recommend" his actions.
Over his long life in the public eye, Biden has made a number of gaffes. Some of them are relatively benign — like using the f-word to describe the greatness of Obamacare. But other remarks are genuinely problematic —such as describing then-candidate Barack Obama as "the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy."
Biden's "fighting words" have since provoked a tweet from Trump as well, with the president writing that Biden "would go down fast and hard, crying all the way." For what it's worth, there was no repeat of Clarke's homophobic insult.